Today’s editorial in the Dominion Post was absolutely disgusting: comparing us with the Nazi’s that recently celebrated Hitler’s birthday, once again displaying a wilful ignorance of NZ’s militaristic history and taking the slogans and PR of the military as fact. In any case, I rather doubt my letter to the editor from last week is going to apear anytime soon — editorial licence I guess — and so here it is just in case.
To the editor,
There’s been a lot of vitriol in response to the ANZAC day protests around the country, some exclaiming how little we value our “hard won freedom”, others appalled that we would dare burn New Zealand flags, and still others hesitantly supportive but disgusted at our protest on the day itself. I was one of the protesters and this is my short defence.
I am strongly opposed to the military operations in Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. All three have been justified based on humanitarian grounds of one sort or another, but it seems far more likely that, like most wars, these are pursued out of economic interests: oil, gold mining and oil, respectively, while New Zealand plays the lackey to the US and Australia.
New Zealand’s history of militarism, despite widespread attempts at revisionism, is equally disgusting: from the Imperial land seizures and assertion of sovereignty over Maori, to the Empire building of the Boer war, the defence of our biggest export market in WWI, the wars against the non-threat of the “communist virus” and the recent participation in the ‘war on terror’.
Meanwhile, every year we commemorate ANZAC day, exclaiming “lest we forget” and “never again”, words in many instances spoken by leaders of that murderous institution that is the military. And while these words of peace are spoken, the military is paraded around and applauded, guns are fired, and its current operations are celebrated. The whole event reeks of hypocrisy and doublespeak.
I will continue to protest the New Zealand military, being — as with all militaries — for the sole purpose of fighting war in the interests of the powerful. And I will continue to protest ANZAC day so long as the military attends as a guest of honour.